While the offense rarely threatens to string together a number of first downs, let alone scores, the defense has been even worse. Against Notre Dame the tackling was the worst I've seen all season. The run by Jonas Gray that set up a 1 yard touchdown was a horrendous exhibition of missed tackles. Not only was the tackling bad but defenders also took bad angles on pursuit and at times exhibited poor effort when away from the ball carrier. The defensive line did get some pressure on Irish QB Tommy Rees and CB Trenton Hughes had a good game (relative to his teammates, anyway) coming back into the starting lineup.
D.J. Adams returned to the running back rotation but had little effect with 55 yards on 16 carries for a 3.4 yards per carry average. Davin Meggett was also largely ineffective with just 37 yards on 9 carries. Without C.J. Brown's gains in the 2nd half the running game as a whole was largely impotent. The receiver corps has been a weak group all season and that continued in this game. None of the wideouts are consistent or possess significant big play ability. None of the QBs have done much to help them this season and as I indicated earlier Danny O'Brien continued his poor play with a 14/21 and 132 yards and a slew of poor reads and bad throws including another interception returned for a touchdown. Brown produced some yards in garbage time that probably don't mean much as the Irish were playing soft defense with a huge lead.
This team has failed to show much consistency on either side of the ball and it is hard to imagine that they will win either road game at Wake Forest or N.C. State to end the season. It is obvious this is a bad team from players to staff.
Turgeon gets first win
Maryland let UNC-Wilmington hang around most of the game until putting them away with free throws in the closing moments. Relying mostly on solid defense, free throws and rebounding it wasn't a visually pleasing contest. The offense was very uneven, particularly in the 1st half, and it is clear the team will continue to struggle with a lack of ball handlers on the roster. Terrell Stoglin didn't start due to a run in with coach Mark Turgeon of an undisclosed nature. Truth is Stoglin was the only guard who showed much of an ability to score. Sean Mosley showed more of the same we have seen from him over his first three seasons: great effort and hustle and an inability to shoot the basketball with any efficiency. It is too early to judge Nick Faust and Mychal Parker and both have a chance to improve, greatly in Faust's case, over the course of the season, but both will need to produce more than 3/8 shooting in 54 combined minutes like they did the other night. Without the surprising production of Ashton Pankey and James Padgett who combined for 25 points and 15 rebounds it may have been a different result. I think Pankey and Padgett will be much better than fans thought as a duo. They are both content to do the dirty work on the inside and seem more than capable of replacing Dino Gregory's production (vastly overrated by fans) from last season. Berend Weijs needs to do a much better job of keeping out of foul trouble and if he can't stay on the floor Padgett and Pankey will be worn out in the 2nd half of games. It is interesting to note that I think the frontcourt, which was supposed to be a weak area, as a group outplayed the backcourt. We'll know more in the coming games against in Puerto Rico when they have to go against bigger and better forwards.